This week we celebrated Shavuot, the moment when the Jewish people received the Torah - Gd's road map and love letter to us all. We learn that every year at this time we are given a renewed opportunity to receive Gd's message in whatever form/voice is most relevant to our hearts. My father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, taught that we actually receive two Torahs on this day. The first, the Torah of Sinai, is a gift that is given automatically and flows to us energetically, regardless of where we stand on a physical or spiritual level. The second is something he called “The Torah of Mistakes.” This Torah must be earned. It is only received when we fall down, break in half, and learn to stand again. The first gift is in our breath, in the air. The second comes when we cry for it enough and are ready to receive in a different way.
My father said that one of humanity's gravest mistakes actually happened at Har Sinai. When Gd appeared to us, we should have begged Him/Her to include the entire world in the revelation. We didn't pray for a “Global Awakening.” We didn't even ask. Now we are still working to heal both this mistake and our priorities as human beings. There is too much selfishness in our world, too much jealousy, too much pettiness.
We learn that we're supposed to love others as we love ourselves. This is a beautiful goal. I wonder what would happen if this year, post Shavuot, we could all acknowledge our past mistakes, and from that place begin to care for every person we encounter. It's incredible what you can see and feel when you open your eyes and heart to another.
BRING NESHAMA TO YOUR COMMUNITY!
To hire Neshama for concerts, private parties, fundraisers, Shabbat services, "women only" events, interfaith concerts with an incredible Baptist Choir, and in collaboration with Josh Nelson, please visit NeshamaCarlebach.com or send an email for more details.
Arnie Davidson is a contemporary Jewish music singer/songwriter, international performer and worship leader/founder of Shir Hamakom, a music worship community based in Glastonbury, Connecticut USA. He has released four albums of worship music and he leads worship with music partner, Shelly Aronson. He is best known for his interactive workshops at synagogues, conferences and with youth groups, “Finding the Music in Prayer”, where participants are guided to discover new meaning in ancient text by creating new music and original lyrics.
“Too much of our liturgy is locked away in a vault of tired melodies and rote recitation. There is an amazing discovery process that occurs when these words see the light of the present day, reflected through the lens of familiar contemporary melodies, instruments and modern language. I’m not looking to replace beautiful traditional melodies, but rather to open a new door of access and understanding to a generation of worshipers; seekers of Jewish spirituality and connection in a secular world. My goal is to create new worship music that inspires and invites, but also shuffles on your iPod without apology.”
Shir Hamakom, Arnie’s Jewish worship music community is a growing example of creating a worship experience from the worshiper up, rather than from the bimah (pulpit) down. “Shelly (Aronson) and I are truly worship leaders rather than performers. Our unique siddur (prayerbook) welcomes Shabbat with 60 minutes of wall to wall music, traversing the ebb and flow of the service in an interconnection of song moments, uninterrupted by sermons. It’s a focused spiritual twist on that Top 40 radio adage of ‘More Music, Less Talk’.” By disengaging the logical mind, we are free to let in the power and vibration of a roomful of voices on a common mission. We let the music do the heavy lifting, subtly drawing in the comfort of community, exhaling the baggage of the work week.”
Arnie’s signature music blends original Hebrew text with interpretive English lyrics, carried by contagious melody, served on a bed of warm and familiar contemporary music. It is new and warm and welcoming. Shabbat music that lasts all week long.
Arnie Davidson's Music.com
Shir Hamakom – Jewish. Music. Worship. Community. Join us for monthly services in Connecticut.
Have You Heard These Men: Arnie Davidson, Eric Komar, Jeff Gold, Saul Kaye?
Margaret Lenzi, HKF 2013 Coordinator on the Heschel-King Festival - Celebration, Learning, Performances, Worship, Action and Much More ... "And what a treat it was to see the first ever performance of a rap song by Mishkan Shalom and Mt.Zion teens that was based on the words and life of King and Heschel. Hazzan Jack Kessler and the band Atzilut really rocked the sanctuary and had people dancing in the aisles. Rabbi Waskow ended the Festival with the challenge to continue working for peace and justice."
Aaron Tornberg Ed.M. Ed.S. is an educator, performer, and instructional designer. He has written and performed Jewish Music in cities around the United States and Canada. Aaron has taught Jewish music in religious schools and summer camps for over 25 years in Kansas City, Toronto, Cincinnati, Charlotte, NC and for the last ten years, around Boston and New Hampshire. He currently hosts a public open mic near his home and also created an open mic event called "Finjan Coffeehouse" at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, NH.
Singing at various events wherever people want to join in prayer and song, Aaron also created a blog site to showcase his music and teach Jewish songs via audio.
Aaron has degrees from Virginia Tech in Instructional Design and Technology and another from Harvard University in Technology in Education. He uses his technology background to create Jewish music projects. One recent project yielded a podcast by students at Temple Beth Abraham about Jewish music they chose for its Judaic content. He continues to use his love of Jewish Music and Technology in his everyday life. Aaron Tornberg lives in Salem, NH with his wife, Kim and his 4 year old son Benjamin.
For two decades singer-songwriter Eric Komar has shared his unique brand of jazz-tinged Jewish rock at synagogues, JCCs, camps, Hillels, and conventions nationwide. His vast performance experience runs the gamut, from preschoolers to retirees, and his advanced guitar skills are recognized among the most prominent musicians in the field.
Eric’s music has been described as refreshing, superb and hip sounding, having a sophisticated pop sensibility, as well as compelling and truly Jewish. His debut CD Notes from the Underground (2003) is noted for a rock n’ roll “Mi Chamochah” and power-ballad for peace “Lo Yisa Goi.” His second effort Two Life (2007) features special guests Peter and Ellen Allard and includes social action anthem “Justice, Justice.” He ushered in 2011 with Ripples, containing the High Holiday hit “Return” and a contemporary setting of “Dayenu.” His long-awaited kids album Todah Torah, showcasing the talents of his students, was released in the Fall of 2013. Several of Eric’s pieces can be found in publications from Transcontinental Music, as well as Craig Taubman’s Craig n’ Co.
Eric lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children. He currently serves as a synagogue music specialist, does music transcription and typesetting, and teaches guitar.
“When a Jew is sad, he cries; when he is even sadder, he is silent; and if he is even sadder still, he sings.” — Abraham Joshua Heschel
“After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” — Aldous Huxley
“Music: the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” --Ludwig van Beethoven
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” —Victor Hugo
"Wow! this is a first! My comment was selected this a.m. as one of about 20 NYT editor picks as a selected comment out of about 500. My handle is Tea Leaf Reader at The New York Times - Diane J. Schmidt tel/fax: 505/890-8363 cell: 505/264-1890
Website: Albuquerque Judaism Examiner
Kimberly Burnham writes in Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers about the song, Adama V'Shamayim, Fellow editors and authors, Elizabeth Goldstein and Hannah Seidel also bicycled with Hazon on the Cross USA. Rabbi Goldstein rode from Seattle to Spokane, Washington. Kim and Hannah both rode the whole way across the US in nine weeks. Hazon created an amazing mobile Jewish community as we visited over 20 different Jewish communities from very small ones in Aberdeen, North Dakota to large communities in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and everywhere in between.
California native Jeff Gold composes soulful and spiritual instrumentals for relaxation, meditation and healing. His music has also become popular within the special education community, especially children with autism, many of whom have found that his soothing music helps them focus and relax.
Jeff has released three CD's, “Simple Treasures, “Escapes” and "Soul of a Mountain”; each one is a soothing and relaxing collection of melodies featuring beautifully arranged acoustic guitars, piano, strings and flutes. While he composes and arranges his own music, he also plays guitars and piano. He does his own mixing, editing and mastering; skills he perfected as a television editor for shows like “Baywatch,” and “The Office.”
Jeff’s earliest musical memories are of his grandmother who loved to sing Yiddish, Romanian and Russian Lullabies to her grandchildren as they fell asleep. She had a rich, warm beautiful voice and was always singing or humming. These Eastern European influences are evident in many of Jeff’s compositions.
He composed the soundtracks and also produced nine guided imagery CD’s for “The Live Well Series”, with hypnotherapist Janet Montgomery. Programs include stress management, coping with cancer treatment, and their latest, “Sleep Well for Kids.”
You can listen in at JeffGold.com and Music as Therapy